Army Jazz Ambassadors coming to Oswego

Jazz and patriotism -- The Jazz Ambassadors, an acclaimed ensemble of the U.S. Army Field Band, will play the work of jazz legends as well as patriotic music in a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in Hewitt Union ballroom at SUNY Oswego. The free general-admission tickets are available at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at or by calling 312-2141.
Jazz and patriotism — The Jazz Ambassadors, an acclaimed ensemble of the U.S. Army Field Band, will play the work of jazz legends as well as patriotic music in a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in Hewitt Union ballroom at SUNY Oswego. The free general-admission tickets are available at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at or by calling 312-2141.

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

The Jazz Ambassadors, an ensemble of the U.S. Army Field Band, will appear at SUNY Oswego in a free, ticketed concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in the Hewitt Union ballroom.

The band will deliver its message of patriotism and goodwill through jazz and other swing-related music.

The 19-member ensemble performs in a wide range of musical genres in addition to jazz. These include big band swing, bebop, Latin contemporary jazz, standard, popular tunes, Dixieland and patriotic.

Members of the ensemble compose or adapt much of the group’s music. The repertoire at SUNY Oswego will include selections from a wide variety of jazz greats, plus patriotic favorites and a salute to veterans.

At the Hewitt Union concert, three students will perform one selection with the Jazz Ambassadors, said Trevor Jorgensen of Oswego’s music department faculty.

The ensemble’s members will provide master classes for students from both the college and local high school jazz ensembles.

The Jazz Ambassadors’ current concert tour began March 11 and ends April 16 — with only five days of rest — taking them to SUNY schools, high schools and theaters. The ensemble’s reputation and demanding tour schedule have earned it the nickname “America’s Big Band.”

The group has played in well-known venues such as the Toronto and Newport jazz festivals, and often has performed joint concerts with regional orchestras that include the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic and the former Syracuse Symphony.

Army Field Commander Maj. Hal Gibson created the ensemble in 1969 as the Studio Band. Its name changed a decade later to the Jazz Ambassadors, and members have lived up to the title by performing over the years in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India and throughout Europe.

Candidates for the group come from leading conservatories, universities and the professional ranks, and undergo a highly competitive audition process. Many of the current members have extensive experience in civilian performance.

Tickets — all general admission — are available at SUNY Oswego box offices, online at or by calling 312-2141.

There is a $3 processing fee for online orders for the otherwise free tickets.

Parking for those attending this concert is available in the lot in front of Culkin Hall, the rear half of the lot behind Hart and Funnelle residence halls and in the adjacent commuter lot. Doors to the ballroom will open at 7 p.m.

For more information about the Jazz Ambassadors, visit the U.S. Army Field Band’s site at Information about SUNY Oswego arts events is available at

Fulton UPK teachers collaborate

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) teachers in the Fulton City School District’s four elementary school buildings participate in quarterly joint collaboration meetings with the District’s Director of Literacy and UPK, Carri Waloven.

The team collectively discuss progress through the curriculum, content objectives and instructional strategies that they have found to be successful.

The most recent collaboration session focused on preparing for the full integration of the common core curriculum in the pre-kindergarten classrooms beginning September 2014.

Teaching staff worked with Lynnette DePoint, the district’s kindergarten through grade eight math coach, to discuss techniques teachers at the higher grade levels have found to be successful that UPK teachers could adopt in their classrooms.

One such technique they discussed is something called the “snap response.” Quite simply, “snap response” requires a teacher to ask a question – For example: What number comes after six?

The teacher asks the class to think about the answer, put the answer in their hand (figuratively speaking), and raise their hand when they have they answer. The teacher counts to three, snaps his/her fingers and the students say the answer out loud. This technique practices the students’ fluency skills as well as helps teachers gauge each student’s ability to process through a question. In addition, the technique appeals to students who have a tendency to be reluctant to call out an answer – “students feel safe to say what they want,” DePoint said.

Waloven spoke about the importance of mirroring successful techniques and instructional strategies from the higher elementary school grade levels to help pre-kindergarten students transition to kindergarten and through higher elementary grade levels more seamlessly.

The Fulton School District offers UPK programs at Fairgrieve, Granby, Lanigan, and Volney Elementary Schools in conjunction with partnerships with the YMCA, Pinnacle Preschool, Oswego County Opportunities and First Step Universal Preschool.

For more information about the UPK program, including how to register a child for the program for the 2014-15 school year, visit

Granby kindergarteners get the ‘royal’ treatment

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Granby Elementary was treated to a royal parade recently, as kindergarten teachers lead their students through the halls, with the children wearing jeweled crowns and carrying scepters.

The parade was part of a culminating activity on the Common Core listening and speaking unit on kings and queens.

Kindergartners have been listening to read-alouds about kings and queens and royal families.

Many of the fictional rhymes, poems, and stories in this domain are classic, well-loved tales.

Students in Mary Ellen Ellis’s kindergarten class read King Midas and the Golden Touch, a story told in Greece long ago during a time where people made up tales to teach a lesson.

In the book a rich king wishes for something foolish, and learns a lesson a valuable lesson about consequences.

By listening to a variety of texts, the kindergartners built on their understanding of the responsibilities, lifestyle, and customs associated with royalty throughout history.

Young drivers to hear about distracted driving

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Looking to educate young drivers and emphasize the importance of paying attention behind the wheel, several local agencies, service providers and educational institutions are collaborating to bring national speaker Jacy Good to the SUNY Oswego campus.

Good, a survivor of a crash caused by a distracted driver in 2008, will tell her story during the Regional Awareness Program for young drivers at 7 p.m. March 26 in the Hewitt Union ballroom.

The 10th annual program is free to the public and is sponsored by Oswego County BOCES, the Oswego County Traffic Safety Board, New York State University Police at Oswego and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

Good will speak about the accident that changed her life on her college graduation day. The car carrying her and her parents was struck head-on by a tractor trailer as the truck swerved to avoid a vehicle — whose driver was talking on his cellphone — making an illegal left turn through a red light.

The accident killed Good’s parents and left her badly injured, with a 10 percent chance of survival.

However, after multiple surgeries and physical therapy, Good beat the odds and has made it her mission to educate people about the dangers of cellphone use behind the wheel and to advocate for legislation to help crack down on distracted driving.

Billie Crandall Brady, coordinator of the Oswego County Traffic Safety Board, said Good’s story is a powerful one that will hopefully resonate with the audience at the RAP program.

“I’m hoping kids will walk away from the program with the ability to make better choices about who they get in the car with and they’ll speak up if their taxi driver is texting, if their friend is texting, if their mother is texting, I don’t care who it is,” Brady said. “Just hang up and drive. It’s very simple.”

Brady said students and young drivers aren’t the only demographic that makes reckless decisions behind the wheel. “It’s not just teenagers texting,” she said. “It’s adults too. So many people are guilty of either talking or texting or distracted in other ways. I encourage parents and adults to come to the event too.”

In addition to Good’s discussion, the program will offer police agency exhibits, student projects, and a STOP DWI display. The Phoenix Central School District Transportation Department will join he program talking about essential bus safety tips and guidelines.

Parking is free in campus lots 18 and 32, adjacent to Hewitt Union and Culkin Hall at the Route 104 entrance.

For more information, call Brady at 343-2344 ext. 22.

BOCES student carpenters hear about apprenticeships

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

George Baldwin, a representative from the Empire State Carpenters’ Apprenticeship Training Center, was on hand at the Construction Technology class at Oswego County BOCES recently where he shared carpentry career opportunities available through the apprenticeship program.

He praised the preparation students receive from participation in the BOCES career and technical education programs saying “this is a great feeder program to an apprenticeship.”

He explained to the students that an approved apprenticeship program will provide them with two things to prepare them for a career in carpentry:

1) on the job training and

2) related instruction, very similar to what the students get through a CTE program.

“If you like what you are doing here, you’re going to love the apprenticeship program,” Baldwin said, noting the apprenticeship programs are paid, full-time programs while the participants are training.

Baldwin also shared job market predictions for those interested in a career in carpentry. Recent expansion in the technology industry in New York state has increased the need for construction of new buildings that utilize “clean room” technology.

A “clean room” is 200 times more sterile than a hospital surgical suite and is necessary when producing high tech products such as cell phone and computer chips.

“There is so much work for carpenters in Upstate New York for the next 20 years,” he said.

Baldwin encouraged interested individuals to apply for the apprenticeship program and noted that students in a career and tech program are wanted for entrance into the apprenticeship because they have an aptitude for the field and have experience with the tools of the trade.

For more information about the Construction Technology program at Oswego County BOCES, contact Marla Berlin, Principal of Career and Technical Education at 963-4433.

Oswego UPK sets open house

Submitted by Oswego School District

An open house is set for 6 to 7 p.m. March 26 at all five Oswego school district elementary schools for children and parents to come learn about the district’s Pre-Kindergarten program.

Applications for the Oswego City School District Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program are now available.

Anyone who would like their child considered for the program can complete an application that is available at all elementary schools, or the Office of Curriculum and Instruction on the first floor of the Education Center.

Anyone with questions may call 341-2013. An application form is also available online at

Screening will be held in April so please send in applications as soon as possible.

The program is designed for children who were born between Dec. 2, 2009 and Dec. 1, 2010 and is offered at no cost to children who are selected by lottery, said Cathleen Chamberlain, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

The UPK teachers and staff strive to create a warm and nurturing environment for the four year olds. The goals of the program are to meet the individual needs of 4-year-old children in the areas of social, academic, language, emotional and physical development. This prepares them to successfully enter kindergarten the following year.

Sessions are available at all five elementary schools. The program runs in conjunction with the regular school district calendar.


Meals, math on menu at Fairgrieve

Meals and math were served up at Fairgrieve Elementary School’s Lunch and Learn March 11 in the cafeteria.

Third-graders displayed their math prowess during a brain gym exercise, which got their bodies and their minds moving.

Elementary Academic Intervention Services teacher Kristine Kaufman said the activity helps bolster the students’ memorization skills when it comes to math facts.

“The students are expected to master multiplication and division by the end of third grade,” Kaufman said. “Brain gym helps with repetition and memory.”

After the brain gym exercise, students sat down with their parents and guardians to review number operations and number bonds.

The Lunch and Learn program is spearheaded by school/home liaison Ariana Suhr and was designed to give parents an up-close glimpse at the new curriculum implemented as part of the Common Core Learning Standards.

News in Brief


The 50th annual Oswego County Numismatic Association Coin and Collectible Show will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 30 in the Fulton Municipal Building.

Free admission and free parking are available.

There will be a 50/50 drawing and attendees can bring items to the show to ask questions about them to club members.

There will be many dealers on hand with coins, stamps, postcards, pocket watches, jewelry, sports cards and other collectibles.


A number of events are coming up at the Sterling Nature Center.

At 1 p.m. March 22 (today), there will be a Signs of Spring Walk. Join Interpretive Naturalist Jim D’Angelo for an early spring hike in search of the signs of spring. We will search for the winter aconite blooms in the gardens as well as the first wildflowers of spring.

It is also time to meet and greet some of the migratory birds including a check on the great blue heron rookery to welcome back the herons as they continue their courtship and start nesting.

There will be a Board Game Extravaganza from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday April 5. In honor of International Tabletop Day, this program is open to the public and board games will be provided or you can bring your own. This is a great opportunity to have fun with your friends and to try a game you haven’t played before all while enjoying the scenic beauty of the Sterling Nature Center.


The ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter is sponsoring a Zumbathon from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday March 26 at the Hannibal Village Tavern.

Zumba with Faye Beckwith and Noelle Salmonsen to raise money for this association that helps patients with this debillitating muscular disease.

For more information, call 564-5479 or 564-5266.


The fun of Karaoke will be offered from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29 at First United Church, 33 S. Third St., Fulton.

Charles Ramsey will once again provide us with his great sound equipment.  Hundreds of songs will be available for individuals to make their selections.  Free soda and popcorn will be provided.

Everyone is welcome. This event is sponsored by Children and Families Team of The Open Doors Neighborhood Center (ODNC) of the First United Church. First United is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, USA and the Presbyterian Church (USA).


The New Haven Senior Citizens will meet at noon March 31 at the Congregational Church for a covered dish luncheon.

Lunch will be followed by a brief meeting, and a program by Ken Richards who will talk about some of his travels.

All seniors are welcome.


The Finishing Trades Institute of Western and Central New York (Oswego) will conduct a recruitment from March 25 to Feb. 24 for four painter, decorator and paperhanger apprentices, said state Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera.

Note openings listed for apprentices represent the total number for both the Central and North Country regions.  This program’s jurisdiction includes the counties of Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego and St. Lawrence.

Applications can be obtained from 28 W. Bridge St., Oswego, from 4 to 6 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month, excluding legal holidays, during the recruitment period.

Applications can be obtained and submitted only during these open recruitment sessions.


The annual Bodley’s Got Talent showcase will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 9 at  G. Ray Bodley High School.

Vice Principal Will Greene and teachers Ami LaDuc and Daniel Mainville will serve as judges.

The cost is $4 per person, and the community is invited to attend. Profits raised by the H.O.P.E. Club will be split between a local organization (ARISE), a national organization (Make-A-Wish Foundation) and an international organization (Volunteer for Peace).


Little Utica United Methodist Church will be holding a free senior luncheon in the church parlor for persons in the community age 55 and older from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10.

This will be an opportunity for community members to have lunch and socialize with their neighbors.

The menu will include vegetable beef soup, broccoli and cheese soup, tuna and egg salad sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, chips and pickles.

A variety of desserts along with punch, milk, tea and coffee will be served.

Little Utica United Methodist Church is located on Lamson Road, heading west off Route 48, just past the intersection of Lamson Road and East Mud Lake Road.

For more information, call the church at 678-2270 or visit the church’s website at or their Facebook page.


The 50th reunion of the Class of 1964 from Fulton High School will be held Aug. 15, 16 and 17.

The reunion committee is trying to locate the following classmates: James Kevin Howard, Kathleen Pyzdrowski Stevens, Becky Burns, Cheryl Travet, Jean Furlong Cole, Gary Weldin and Patricia Rondomanski Quinn.

To provide contact information, call or email Sharon Wardhaugh Flood at 593-7401 or

Celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring with a snowshoe program at the Amboy 4-H Environmental Education Center at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 23.

If a person can walk, they can easily learn to snowshoe. An environmental educator will give a brief clinic on snowshoe technique and then lead participants for a short wander through the mixed woods and wetlands.

After the program, hot chocolate or tea will be served.  There cost is $3 per person. Family rate is $12 and children under 3 are free. Snowshoes are provided free.

These programs are designed for individuals, not organized groups. Call the Oswego County 4-H Program at 963-7286, extension 401 to arrange a group program.

Amboy 4-H Environmental Educational Center is located on Route 183, between Routes 13 and 69 in eastern Oswego County.


The Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District is now accepting orders for the 43rd Annual Spring Tree and Shrub Sale.

The district is offering for sale 39 varieties of hardwood and evergreen trees, shrubs and ground covers.

The trees selected for this year’s program may be planted to serve a variety of purposes, which include timber, Christmas trees, improving wildlife habitat, windbreaks, screens or borders and increasing the aesthetics of your property.

To obtain an order form, contact the Soil and Water District at 592-9663. The form can also be printed directly from the web at and mailed to Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District at 3105 State Route 3, Fulton, NY 13069.


The Minetto United Methodist Church will host a free dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 23.

The menu will be ziti and meatballs, vegetable and dessert. Donations are not expected but will be accepted.

A collection shed is available in the parking lot at the back of the church for usable clothing items that can be recycled. Acceptable items include: all clothing, shoes, sneakers, purses, blankets, sheets, pillowcases, drapes, and stuffed toys.


A stuffed pork chop dinner is set for noon to whenever sold out Sunday March 23 at the Hannibal American Legion Auxiliary Post 1552 on Rochester Street. A full menu is being offered and takeouts are available.


The deadline to apply to take the Civil Service test for purchasing clerk is March 26.

The pay rate for the position is $14.67 an hour. Candidates must be legal residents of Oswego County for a minimum of four months immediately preceding the date of the test, which is May 3.

Applications and further information area available at the Department of Personnel, County Office Building, 46 E.e. Bridge St., Oswego or by calling 349-8209 or going to


A chicken barbecue to raise money for the Oswego High School girls’ softball team is set for 11:30 a.m., Sunday March 30 at Gibby’s Inn in Oswego.


Mother Earth Baby will host a Healthy Baby Expo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 26 at the Lake Ontario Conference Center in Oswego.

This fun family event is ideal for new and expecting moms and for children of all ages with a focus on health and wellness for young children and their families.

The event is free and the first 100 registered to participate will receive a swag bag full of goodies.

Additionally, the event will feature fun family and child activities, raffles and door prizes from over 50 participating sponsors, free samples, product demonstrations, and more!


A committee working to add to the New York State Fair’s daily parade is seeking input from the public as it designs a State Fair float to serve as the centerpiece of a reinvigorated event.

Designs and ideas for the float are being solicited by the committee, which is being headed up by a member of the State Fair Advisory Board.

The committee has reached out to some school and community groups to solicit design ideas. Any individual or group is welcome to submit design sketches.

Sketches received by April 1 will receive consideration. Those involved in creating a winning sketch will receive recognition during the parade along with admission to the Fair and parking passes.

Submissions can be sent to  More information about the requirements for submissions can be found at

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